A work detailing why I am having an uncommonly good Monday.
|It was a good weekend. How do I know? Simple, the way I feel on Monday morning. This morning, I feel optimistic, energetic, strong, driven and needed. Any Monday morning that has me feeling this good must follow a great weekend!
However, it did not start so well. My father had some issues that needed to be dealt with at the VA in Huntington. He is fine but needed to be monitored over night on Friday. Saturday just after midday, he was released. The prognosis? Low Magnesium. Funny how a low level of a single mineral can make the body miss behave. The most fortunate part is that he never did experience any symptoms at all. The problem was noticed by a couple doctors on the EKG while he was being prepped for another, unrelated procedure.
The up-shot of all this is that he is fine and can get back to life as normal. So, that’s what makes it part of a good weekend. Honestly, this part makes it better for dad than for me! But then again, that in its self makes it a good weekend for me as well. (If you follow.)
Another reason for my good morning is that I had the rare opportunity to spend some weekend time with my lovely wife. Too often we are moving in completely different directions on our time off. I love her dearly and value the time we spend together. This weekend was no exception. We didn’t do anything extravagant or exotic, we simply hung out together. It started as simply trying to figure out what to do with our time that made me notice what we were doing. We were outside just watching for signs of spring!
We observed things as simple as the new shades of green being sported by both grass and tree. Buds are already making huge advances on their annual progression towards leaves. We spoke about one of my favorite sounds in the whole of the earth: the sound of leaves moving in the breeze. (I can’t wait. It will be here soon!) It is yet another thing we have in common. Yes, it was indeed a good weekend.
There was a defining moment when I became consciously aware of the “good” status of this weekend. It was Sunday towards the end of a wonderful service at Bridges Christian Church. Monty was preaching about Putting Broken Lives Back Together. He used the text from John 4:1-42. While his sermon was well done and had already made an impact on me, it was the idea at the end that caught my attention (and the way he made his point!).
He spoke of a “changed life” (John 4:39-42) and the testimony that such a life would have. Once this point was made, he just walked off the stage. The praise team began a very nice song and one of the members of our church walked out on stage with a plain piece of cardboard on which they had written some sin or struggle that had been a part of their life. After a moment they turned the placard over and revealed how GOD was helping or had delivered them from that struggle. Another followed with another sign. Then another and another.
By the third or fourth, tears were forming in my eyes. By the tenth and eleventh, they were streaming down my face. I wasn’t alone. These were people that live here. They work with us, shop with us; send their kids to the same school. These are people we know and yet perhaps many did not know the struggles they face.
As the procession continued, the congregation could not hold back the emotion that comes with feeling the presence of The Spirit. Each simple piece of brown cardboard carried a sermon all by itself. Each one carried the impact of a life changed and a testimony given.
In the end, nearly twenty lives were represented on the stage. There were answered prayers, strength for struggling parents, healing for wrecked lives, restoration for drug and alcohol addictions, and (Praise God!) forgiveness of sins! It was powerful stuff!
Finally, one man spoke up and in simple, no nonsense terms, made it clear that what we had seen was undeniable proof that God works in broken lives. I especially liked his line, “this is real.” Jesus was so obviously real to this man and the many others that came forward for prayer. Prayers were freely flowing from hurting people to a God that cares and is willing to help!
I could not help thinking while all of this was going on, “what would be on my piece of cardboard?” My mind flew quickly through a long list of sins that litter my past and sadly, my recent past. But then, on the flipside of my sign was forgiveness!
The morning was made complete by a boy accepting Christ into his life and being baptized. He will face many of the same struggles that all humans face. He will deal with problems and will make poor decisions along the way. It comes with being a fallible mortal. But he already has access to the Comforter! The Healer! The Forgiver of sins! I hope and pray that he will maintain a life long relationship with his GOD!
Was it a good weekend? You be the judge. But remember, your judgment will tell a great deal more about the condition of your heart than the condition of my weekend. So, keep your judgment in your heart and use it as a tool. It can be a good way to tell where you stand and what is written on your piece of cardboard.
Paul “PJ” Hunt